Drunk Monkeys is an online lit mag with a unique style, dedicated to "use our privileges to protect, defend, and uplift others. To create a safer literary community." They have a clear mission to “be inclusive, to denounce bigotry of all kinds, and to stand up to those who abuse and persecute.” They read every two months and then the third month is close for catching up, e.g. open Jan and Feb, closed March, etc. They also have their first themed anthology all about cartoons open until 9/15/2019, as well as a special November issue specific to pieces that were formerly published in now defunct journals open until 8/31/2019.
I wondered how and why this lit mag came to be, so I asked Editor-in-Chief Kolleen Carney Hoepfner and she kindly replied. See my interview with Hoepfner and submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Drunk Monkeys. How/why was Drunk Monkeys originally started?
HOEPFNER: Drunk Monkeys was started back in 2011 by Matthew Guerrero, to serve as a place to showcase literature as well as film and pop culture critiques. I started with DM in 2016 as the social media coordinator and took over as EIC in 2017. Most our staff went to Antioch University in Los Angeles; we’re all on the same page in terms of what we like to feature. We love the standard literary features as well as the pop culture aspect of it all.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
HOEPFNER: Anyone. Anyone! We have featured writers from high school age to retirement age. I am hoping everyone would find something they love with us.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
HOEPFNER: Right now we’re actually looking for three different sets of work!
We’re open through the end of August for regular submissions: poetry, fiction, essays, art, and our recurring feature, One Perfect Episode, which focuses on tv shows our contributors think are perfect. We’ll be closed for September and then reopen in October. We repeat this schedule: two months on, one month off.
We’re also open through the end of August for our November special edition. This year we want to showcase work that previously appeared in now defunct journals. It can be frustrating when a piece of work being abandoned because a venue has gone under. We want to give these pieces a new home!
Additionally, we are putting together our first anthology, which is a collection of pieces inspired by cartoons called Life is Like a Hurricane. We’re open for that now through September 15th. Any poetry, fiction, or essay about the cartoons of our youth is welcome!
I should add that it is important for us as a publication to uplift marginalized voices. We took a look at our stats from last year and we’re still publishing predominately white cishet writers. Part of our mission statement is inclusivity, so we welcome those who are not white cishet writers to consider us as a venue for their work.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
HOEPFNER: We lack in essays for sure. I love a good essay and we never seem to get a lot. Send us your essays!
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
HOEPFNER: I love Moonchild Magazine, Cotton Xenomorph, Occulum, Five 2 One, Rabid Oak, Connotation Press. One publication I think people should be reading and paying attention to is Lammergeier. It’s new but it is really solid and I would love to see it succeed.
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with Drunk Monkeys?
HOEPFNER: I love everything about it. Our staff is the best group of people I’ve ever known; they’re like a family to me. But our contributors make Drunk Monkeys what it is. We would be nowhere without them, and I love featuring their work. We often get messages from readers complimenting pieces that resonated with them– Joaquin Fernandez’s “The Importance of Being Spider-Man” was a recent one that really touched our readers. We got a lot of feedback on that one.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
HOEPFNER: Our submission guidelines are here: http://www.drunkmonkeys.us/submission-guidelines
and our Submittable page is here: https://drunkmonkeys.submittable.com/submit
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
HOEPFNER: They can contact me via email at email@example.com, or through messaging us via Facebook or Twitter (@DrunkMonkeysWeb).
- August 31, 2019 for November special issue
- September 15, 2019 for Like a Hurricane anthology
- Open most months, with a break every two months
FORMAT: digitally online
SUBMISSION FEE: None
PAYMENT: $5 per piece
FORMS: fiction, poetry, and cartoons